Modular Construction
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What is modular construction?

Modular buildings are created from single prefabricated units, known as modules, which are individually built in a factory to be later assembled on site. The connection of these units enables the construction of a wide range of buildings, which can be of any size, with multiple storeys.

Modules can be placed side-by-side, end-to-end, or stacked, allowing a variety of configurations or building layouts. This design flexibility means they can meet the needs of any number of different projects.

Each steel-framed module is manufactured to exacting tolerances under controlled-factory conditions, maximising their strength and quality. The modules are fully-fitted with all electrics, plumbing, heating and internal finishes before they leave the factory. Once completed, the modules are transported to site by road then craned into position.

Modular construction in action

Watch this time-lapse video to see how easily large buildings can be constructed by Portakabin.

This modular building was constructed in Reading for Foster Wheeler, a global engineering contractor and power equipment supplier. The final building comprises 78 modules which were craned into position over an eight-day period.

Portakabin has a track record of delivering 99.7% of buildings on time and on budget.1 This compares favourably with the construction-industry average of just 40% delivered on time and 69% on budget.2

Modular construction benefits

Benefits of modular construction

The benefits of modular construction are multiple:

  1. Faster build time – the modular construction process is independent and can occur before site and foundation work, or simultaneously. This allows new buildings to be completed up to 50% faster, and refurbished projects up to 70% faster, than traditional site-based construction methods.3

  2. Reduced waste – off-site construction generates up to 90% less waste than traditional on-site building methods.4 The factory-controlled process also minimises the amount of energy necessary to create a building.

  3. Cost-effective – modular building projects are not subject to weather-related delays or site-based skills shortages. Once assembled on site, the buildings are ready to be occupied, creating a faster return on investment.

  4. Less noise and disruption on site – factory-based construction minimises time on site, reducing site disruption and environmental noise pollution, leaving the construction site cleaner and safer.

  5. Fewer vehicle movements – modular construction results in 90% fewer vehicle movements to, from and on the construction site, reducing transport-related emissions and disruption.5

  6. Future flexibility and reuse – modular buildings can easily be expanded, reduced, reconfigured or even relocated to meet your changing needs.

  7. Guaranteed quality standards – products meet strict quality standards before leaving the factory. Portakabin has earned the ISO 9001 certification for its quality-management systems, covering everything from office procedures to manufacturing processes, and ISO 14001 for its environmental-management systems.

Experience the process in person

You can find out how your organisation could benefit from modular buildings by visiting our factory and seeing the process from start to finish.

The modular construction method explained

The process of modular construction is quite different from traditional on-site construction, as explained here in our 5-step guide to modular construction:

  • Individual factory-built modules are delivered by lorry to the site.
  • The first layer of modules is lowered into position by crane.
  • A single building is created.
  • Additional storeys can be added to create more space according to your specific requirements.
  • Positioning modules side-by-side or end-to-end can create the required building floor area, with bespoke internal layouts designed using partition walls, stairs and lifts.
Would you like to know more about modular construction?

Request our free brochure here and discover the capabilities of Portakabin modular building solutions.

Ensure your building project runs smoothly, download our free guides here.

1. Portakabin order analysis since 2003.
2. The department for Business Innovation and Skills, Constructing Excellence and the CITB, December 2015.
3. Research carried out by BCIS for RICS Construction Faculty 2004.
4. Source: WRAP.
5. Source: Mtech.

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